Diabetes patients back nurse prescribers

People with diabetes are confident in nurse prescribers changing their medication, a study has shown.

This trust is founded on patients' views of nurse expertise, the researchers found.

Professor Molly Courtenay and colleagues from the University of Surrey interviewed 41 diabetic patients treated by nurse prescribers.

The researchers explored diabetes patients' views about nurse prescribing and the perceived advantages and disadvantages. The study found there were clear benefits to nurse prescribing.

Professor Courtenay presented the group's findings at the 2010 RCN International Nursing Research Conference in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, last week.

‘Nurse prescribing increased efficiency and patients were confident with nurse prescribing,' Professor Courtenay said after the conference.

Patients welcomed the introduction of care provided by nurse prescribers. Their confidence in nurse prescribing was ‘inspired by nurses' specialist knowledge and experience', the researchers said.

But they noted that nurses' roles were not seen as identical to that of other prescribers.

‘Distinctions were made between the role of the nurse and that of the doctor and views varied with regard to the extent patients felt nurses should work autonomously,' she said.

But patients thought it was crucial that information about changes to treatment was relayed back to GPs.

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